A Look at the Power Five Title Games
There are eight conference title games scheduled for Friday and Saturday. Here's a look at the SEC, ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12.
SEC CHAMPIONSHIP: ALABAMA (10-1) vs. FLORIDA (10-2) (+17.5) 3:00 pm CBS--ATLANTA GA.
It has the potential to be the most lopsided SEC title game in recent memory. Florida scored exactly two points last week against Florida State and now they get to face the Alabama defense. While anything can happen in a single game, if this is going to be an upset, it'll be because Alabama lost it, like they did in the game against Ole Miss. Because Florida simply can't win it. Their defense can keep them in the game for a while. But sooner or later, unless Alabama turns it over a ridiculous number of times, they should win the game.
PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP: USC (8-4) vs. STANFORD (10-2) (-4.5) 6:45pm ESPN--SANTA CLARA, CA.
USC managed to get through the Steve Sarkasian fiasco to reach the PAC-12 title game and interim coach Clay Helton had the interim tag removed to the delight of his team. Stanford still has a slim hope that, if either Alabama or Clemson lose, they can still reach the playoff with a win. Stanford is the favorite, but they're playing a good football team regardless of what the record says.
NORTH CAROLINA (11-1) vs. CLEMSON (12-0) (-4.5) 7pm ABC--CHARLOTTE, NC
It's doubtful North Carolina can reach the title game with a win, unless Alabama also loses and even then, it's a long shot. A non-conference schedule with two FCS schools and a bad loss to a bad South Carolina team probably spells their doom regardless. Clemson has been number 1 ever since the CFP rankings have been made public. The bigger question is, can Clemson still get one of the four top spots even with a loss? The answer is probably no, but a North Carolina win would make for some really nervous times come Sunday waiting for the final rankings.
MICHIGAN STATE (11-1) vs. IOWA (12-0):(+3) 7:15pm FOX--INDIANAPOLIS IN--The Spartans have found a way to win, save that crazy game against Nebraska and have earned their way to this title game. Sparty is favored by a field goal against the most underappreciated team in the country. Sure, the Hawkeyes are undefeated. But no one seems to be impressed, including the oddsmakers. The Hawkeyes' schedule has been easier, but they haven't exactly played the Little Sisters of the Poor. Bottom line is they've beaten everyone they've played. Winner gets a playoff berth. Loser wonders what might have been.
PREDICTIONS: ALABAMA, STANFORD, CLEMSON, IOWA